Thru 6: Nats trail 2-1

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Garrett Mock absolutely cruised for four innings tonight. He retired the first 10 batters he faced and carried a shutout into the fifth. But that’s when things got strange.

Mock, who has a tendency to fade as he reaches the middle innings, put two men on with two out but appeared to get out of the jam by striking out Carlos Gonzalez on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt. Plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called it a strike, and the Nats began jogging off the field. But then second base ump Doug Eddings overruled the call, saying Gonzalez fouled the ball into the ground before catcher Josh Bard snagged it. Jim Riggleman came out to argue, but it was to no avail.

Sure enough, Gonzalez blooped the next pitch into left field for an RBI single. And then moments later, Mock threw a wild pitch that allowed another run to score and make it 2-0.

The Nats themselves went scoreless for five innings, unable to mount anything against Colorado starter Jason Hammel. They just finally broke through, with Adam Dunn doing what he’s supposed to do: line a 2-0 pitch to right field for a run-scoring double. I know Dunn likes to draw walks, but he’s not being paid to get on base in front of Josh Willingham. He’s getting paid to swing the bat. Nice to see him be aggressive there.

That said, that’s all the Nats have done at the plate so far. Through six innings, they trail the Rockies, 2-1.

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Mark Zuckerman

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